Elon Musk often jokes on Twitter
Andrew Kelly / REUTERS
The English record champions Manchester United have been in crisis for years: nine seasons without a championship, no Champions League football this year, after two embarrassing defeats at the beginning of the season, the Red Devils are in last place in the Premier League.
Many critics blame the American Glazer family, the owners of the club, and urge them to sell.
A financially strong investor would come in handy.
About the richest person in the world: Elon Musk.
And in fact, the Tesla boss announced on Wednesday night that he wanted to buy United.
On Twitter, the 51-year-old initially commented on US politics that he supported “the left half of the Republican Party and the right half of the Democratic Party”.
However, the following tweet caused a much bigger stir: "I'm also buying Manchester United, you're welcome."
A little later, when asked by a user if he was serious, he replied: "No, that's a running gag on Twitter.
I don't buy sports teams.' But the multi-billionaire added: 'Although - if anything, it's Man U. They were my favorite team as a kid.'
United is one of the most popular sports teams in the world.
The US business magazine "Forbes" ranked the club in this year's ranking with a total value of around four and a half billion US dollars as the third most valuable football club, behind Real Madrid and FC Barcelona.
In terms of sport, Man United has been in a downward spiral for almost a decade.
There have been eight different managers since Alex Ferguson's departure in 2013.
United is currently being looked after by Dutchman Erik ten Hag, who started the new season with a 2-1 and 4-0 loss.
Superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has reportedly wanted to leave Manchester for weeks.
The call from fans and experts for a change of ownership is getting louder and louder.
Former United player Gary Neville gave a rant on Sky TV after the Brentford defeat, criticizing the Glazer family for underinvesting in the club - unlike investors in the other big Premier League Clubs.
In addition to the squad, there are investments in the stadium and the training facilities.
In general, Neville denounced a lack of commitment from the owners.
At the away game in Brentford, Manchester fans in the stadium held up banners demanding sales.
According to a report by the British newspaper “The Daily Mirror” last year, the Glazers would only be willing to sell if the offer was the equivalent of around 4.7 billion euros.
Musk's loose mouth
Musk could easily raise the money.
His fortune is estimated by »Forbes« at around 265 billion euros.
In the past, Musk had caused a stir with his moody purchase announcements.
The social media platform Twitter wanted to buy Musk.
The Twitter board even accepted his offer, and two days later he already had the next goal.
"Next I'm going to buy Coca-Cola to put the cocaine back in," he tweeted in late April.
He corrected that on Wednesday: "And I'm not buying Coca-Cola to put the cocaine back in, despite the extreme popularity of such a step." Musk also backed out of his Twitter acquisition - which is why a lawsuit is currently underway.
It is usually difficult to judge how seriously Musk's Twitter statements are to be taken.
The ambitions of the entrepreneur are diverse.
They range from the colonization of Mars to the creation of a new, sustainable energy economy.
In the process, he built the world's most valuable car company, electric vehicle maker Tesla, rocket company SpaceX, and a number of smaller companies.
One of them is the Boring Company, a tunnel builder.